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Sunset of Hearts

As the sun sets, it is the ending of a life. Sure, lives end every day, and new ones begin. But on this twilight, the sun was setting on the most important life in my world. But, it was also dawning on a new life as well. The only catch was, those two lives were both the same. What if Bella had come to Forks, and Edward and his family were human? What if they were like every other family? But, what if they were unfortunately pulled into a dark situation, that was to transform them into the thing of their nightmares, and inconsequentially, something darker than they had ever dreamed of? And what if Bella was the one to keep Edward going through all of this? Basically, what if Edward and his family were human in Forks? (Were being the key word.)

Okay, I know that, if you read my previously completed story, Daylight, I promised an entirely different story. But, I felt a different inspiration to write this one. So, here it is.

3. Chapter 3: Phospholipids and Plastic Cheese

Rating 3.5/5   Word Count 2275   Review this Chapter

On this morning, I drove to Forks High School with a newly fueled hope. I couldn’t lie to myself – it was because I was going to see Edward Cullen. Beautiful, perfect, green-eyed, red-haired, gorgeous, mysterious, hilarious Edward Cullen. The cutest boy in school.

The thundering of my ancient truck made it hard to hear my own thoughts. Luckily, there was a thunderstorm currently in action, so I made it seem like the snarling engine was actually quiet, and it was just the sky that was growling with rage.

I pulled my truck into an open spot and made sure my backpack was securely on before opening the door a centimeter, jamming down the lock, then stepping out into the rain, where I aimed to run to the cafeteria’s overhang and wait out the rain.

As I was running through the muddy grass, I did what I normally did whilst running. I slipped and fell on my butt, looking like a complete idiot. Just as I was scrambling to get up, he rushed over to me and extended his pale, ghostly white, hand. Gratefully, I took it and allowed him to help me up.

Together, we ran the last stretch to the overhang, and then stood gratefully in the protection of the cafeteria’s extra slivers of roofing. I tried as best as I could to brush the mud off of my jacket and pants, but already I had a big dark spot on my butt. Dammit!

He stood in a similar position to mine, dark coat’s hood up over his perfectly untidy bronze hair. Droplets of the rain rested on his coat’s waterproof material, creating the appearance of dew on grass – or a rose. Well, a black rose, to be exact.

“Do you always fall like that, or was it because of the mud?” He joked lightly.

“No, it’s always like that,” I admitted, hanging my head. He laughed.

There was a long pause, but after a while, he decided to break it. “You have mud on your cheek,” he chuckled. I looked up at him from underneath my hood and soggy hair, and he looked back at me with his mesmerizingly green eyes.

Very casually, he lifted one ebony hand to touch my face, using his thumb to wipe away the speck of mud from my skin. When he did, an electric shock went through me, as if I’d been electrocuted, but without the pain. He seemed to feel it too, because he drew his hand back sharply.

“Sorry,” he breathed quietly.

I stood, unmoving and unblinking, frozen in shock, not sure what to do, not sure what to say. Not sure if I should apologize as well for something that had been neither of our faults. Not sure if I should say it was fine, pinning the blame on him, that maybe he’d shuffled a little too much along his carpet this morning and shocked me with static electricity.

There was a nasal buzzing sound, sending students hurrying to get to their classes. Edward waved good bye and walked in the opposite direction, and I went to my first class. The day passed slowly, leaving me in a daze and trying to comprehend what the teachers were saying. Not once did I pay attention, not until lunch. Not until I saw him standing at the end of the lunch line, preparing to buy food.

I hurried in front of two girls headed for the back of the line where he stood, and ran up behind him. I tapped him on the shoulder. He spun around, as to find who had tapped him. I smiled. Upon seeing me, he smiled as well.

“Hello, Bella,” he greeted me warmly.

“Hey!” I exclaimed, not able to mask my excitement. He seemed to notice how happy I was, and his mood lightened infinitesimally.

“How was your day?” He asked politely.

“Wet. And yours?” He chuckled quietly.

“Wet, as well.” I laughed.

“I was just thinking about yesterday in Bio,” I began. “And I wondered if something similar would happen today.”

His grin stretched wider across his face, revealing two rows of glistening white teeth. “I hope so,” he said humorously, “because that was hilarious!”

“Though maybe since we pointed it out, he’ll be more careful this time. You know, double check, maybe even triple check,” I laughed. How strange it was that I could laugh so lightly in his presence. How strange it was that, around him, I couldn’t help but smile and laugh and be happy with him.

He laughed in agreement. By now, we had reached the food, and he grabbed a tray of pizza. I picked the mozzarella sticks and followed him to the cash register. He paid for his food in cash, and waited politely for me to pay for mine. I used the money I’d deposited yesterday to purchase the overpriced lump of what was supposed to be cheese and breading.

“If you’d like, you can sit with my siblings and me,” he suggested. I immediately brightened, replying yes a little too quickly. He smiled to himself, proud that he’d been able to get a quick response out of me just like that. Or maybe he was proud that I was following him around like a lost little puppy, including the goo-goo eyes. Was it showing?

When we approached the table where his siblings sat, however, I became timid. I was afraid of what they would think, though I wasn’t exactly sure why at the time. Meekly, I followed, putting myself more behind him so as to try to hide.

“I’d like you all to meet my friend, Bella,” he announced, introducing me.

“Where is she?” Came a deep, burly voice. That’s my cue, I though glumly to myself. I took a step to the right, exposing myself to view. Edward smiled and continued.

“Bella, this is Emmett,” he pointed out the one who’d spoke before, a boy with curly brown hair, hazel eyes, and thick muscles on his arms, “Rosalie,” he pointed to the statuesque blonde girl with light blue eyes, “Jasper,” he pointed out the boy with light blonde hair, skin a shade darker than the rest, although still pale, and blue-grey eyes, “and Alice,” he finished on the girl I’d seen him say goodbye to yesterday before Biology, with the spiky black hair and light brown oval eyes.

He sat down next to Rosalie, leaving me sitting shyly across from him next to Alice. I timidly took a bite of my food and a sip of my drink, feeling my face turn red.

“So…um…you’re all related?” That was a polite enough question, right? Right?

“No, not really,” Edward was the one to answer.

“We’re all adopted,” Alice answered beside me. Hearing her sudden, high-pitched, musical voice made me jump, and they seemed to enjoy that. It was strange – I’d thought the topic of adoption would be a difficult one, but they seemed not to mind.

“Oh,” was all I could say in reply.

“What about you, Bella? We heard you just moved in,” Jasper asked from beside Alice.

“Yes, I just moved up from Arizona to live with my dad,” I replied in a small voice.

“Oh, wow, Arizona! It must’ve been beautiful!” Alice exclaimed excitedly.

“It is,” I replied with a smile. It seemed as though they were accepting me, able to chat politely with me.

“I bet Forks is quite a change for you,” Alice added in.

“Well…” I debated, wanting to be polite if they did like Forks, “it’s definitely rainier.” They exchanged giggles. “Back in Phoenix, it only rained three or four times a year!”

“Wow,” she exaggerated the word to sound like three syllables. The best part was, she actually seemed genuinely interested.

“How about you guys? Edward told me you moved down from Alaska two years ago. What must that have been like?”

“Well, it’s definitely warmer,” Jasper said, speaking for the first time in a while, seeing as Alice hadn’t left any openings for him.

“But not to you of course,” Edward said.

“No, I’d definitely say it’s colder,” I injected with a laugh.

“But isn’t Phoenix so hot? The humidity must’ve been unbearable,” Rosalie said for the first time. She looked like the type who would, in fact, be perturbed by a little humidity. Frizzy hair, oh no!

“Well, once you get used to it, it’s not so bad,” I remarked defensively. Phoenix was a wonderful city, warm and dry and beautiful. None of all this uninvited green. No moss on the tree trunks, no webby green branches, no green light. There was brown. Brown tree trucks, brown branches with a few green leaves compared to this place, and dirt. You couldn’t see the dirt here. Just moss and grass and tree roots.

“Hmm…” Rosalie finished, lifting her nose slightly into the air. What was her problem? If she was so snooty, why did they sit with her? Well duh, she’s their sister. Of course they’d sit with her.

The whole rest of the lunch period continued similarly, the six of us engaging in polite conversation about our pasts – though I never brought up the word ‘parents’, thinking it might be a sensitive subject for adopted children. I didn’t know if they had been orphaned, or if their parents were druggies, or maybe even in jail. Either they had unfit parents, or they had no parents. Either way, I wasn’t about to bring it up.

Edward and I waved goodbye to Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie, and walked with Alice to Biology. We left Alice at the door, and she walked down a narrow pathway to her Government class. Edward and I took our seats in the back of the room.

When we entered the classroom, everyone’s eyes seemed to bug out of their heads. There we were, the new girl and Mr. Cutest-Boy-in-School Cullen, walking into class, together. We might as well of been holding hands and kissing the way they were all staring. I was surprised at how my heart sped up at that thought.

Edward sat down first, ignoring all the stares as if they weren’t there. It took me a bit longer, self-consciously setting my book bag down and rifling through it for my binder and notebook. Finally, I plopped down into my chair and moved my hair over my shoulder, making a curtain between the rest of the class and us.

He had his notebook open, doodling aimlessly in the margins and waiting for the teacher to start teaching. I did the same, sketching nothing in particular around the sides. My right hand, the one I wasn’t drawing with, was nervously twisting into the hair at the back of my neck. We waited for what seemed like eternity for the teacher to show up. Maybe he’d chickened out and called in sick.

But, lo and behold, he backed into the room with a TV on wheels. So it was going to be a movie day. I closed my notebook and but it in my bag, along with my binder and pen. Edward did the same.

The teacher – whose name still remained forgotten by my reluctant mind – pushed a button on the ancient set and a blue screen appeared. He put a tape in the reluctant VCR and pressed a few more buttons before the credits begun to roll.

“I wonder what this one’s about,” Edward mused quietly beside me.

“Yeah. Maybe if we’re lucky, it won’t be educational,” I suggested, secretly praying that I wouldn’t need to pay attention.

“But, knowing my luck, it’ll probably be some horribly acted movie about cellular respiration or something of the sort,” he groaned. I laughed.

“You’re probably right.”

“I do have a habit of doing that sometimes,” he said through a smile. I glanced up at him, and he was looking back down at me. Our eyes met in an instant and locked each other in a strangle-hold gaze, unable to be broken. His smile faded into a look of transfixed wonderment, and I was sure my face beheld the same expression. It was only when the teacher called the class to order when he reluctantly looked away. Crimson cheeked, I did the same.

The movie was just as we had expected – an hour long educational documentary about cellular osmosis and respiration, oxidation and reduction, how the proteins embedded in the cell’s phospholipids bilayer were semi permeable and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Overall, it was torture.

But, having him beside me, breathing the same air I was breathing, less than a foot away from me, sitting with his chin propped up on his palm, stealing glances at me every few seconds, made everything…bearable. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone. And, to be truthful, I wasn’t. I was the farthest I could be from alone.

Reluctant as ever, I waved goodbye to Edward after he’d walked me to the gym. I stood there, leaning up against the door frame, staring after him as he walked down one of the school’s infamous narrow walkways, glorious as ever, even in his bulky bio-hazard-like coat, and even in the pouring rain, which, by now, had completely drenched my hair. I imagined I probably looked like something not far from a half-drowned cat.

That night was the first night I dreamed of Edward Cullen.